A pivotal moment for the NI economy: Statement from the President and Vice-President

26th Oct 2022

In a joint statement, the President and Vice-President of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) have said:

“This week is a pivotal moment for the Northern Ireland economy. Despite very significant pressures, most businesses are continuing to trade well, or at least reasonably[1]. But the alarm bells are ringing with one in five businesses telling us that they are just covering costs. We are on a downward trend and now is the time for action; to build confidence, protect jobs and encourage investment.

“While a functioning Executive will not solve all the problems, the in-tray of overdue reforms and resultant crises continues to grow. Over 170 days have passed since the election and within days we could be without local Ministers. That’s more time lost for decisions about spending and overdue reforms on health, climate change and planning.

“Employers are in a cost of doing business crisis and our households are seeing the greatest squeeze on their finances of any UK region. We are at a tipping point that at the very least requires a functioning Executive.

“We do not underestimate the political challenges but decisions need to be made. We have been here before and are all too familiar with life without an Executive. We cannot repeat the stagnation of 2017-2020. Today, we urge all our political stakeholders at Stormont and in Westminster to reach a resolution with the sense of urgency it demands.”

Gillian McAuley                                
President, NI Chamber

Cathal Geoghegan
Vice-President, NI Chamber

[1] Source: NI Chamber and BDO NI Quarterly Economic Survey for Q3 22